technological society

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Some writers argue that there is a distinctive type of society, typically emergent from various forms of industrialism, in which technology and a technocracy increasingly determine the nature of institutions and change. Optimistic versions include much technicism and the so-called convergence thesis (see industrial society) favoured by many American functionalists of the 1950s and early 1960s. An early, more pessimistic, account is given by Jacques Ellul in The Technological Society. In the tradition of the Sociologie du Travail, technology is treated as a form of alienation, and as domination by artefacts. The growing interest in alternative technology, ecology, and the environment may be regarded as a reaction born of an analogous interpretation of late 20th-century industrialism.

Subjects: Sociology.

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